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Lite-On LDW-811S DVD±RW/DVD±R Drive Review

February 26, 2004






The Asian companies keep on extending their share on the market of DVD recorders. Today we'll test a top model in Lite-On's line of recording drives - LDW-811S. This drive is able to record DVD+R media at 8x. Its features are not advanced, and it's not specified that this drive can burn DVD-R discs at 8x, however it's quite possible that this capability is just not enabled at the moment. Well, let's see what this drive is able of.

Lite-On LDW-811S




Specification

  • Read formats: 
    • DVD: DVD single / dual layer ( PTP / OTP ), DVD-R ( 3.9GB / 4.7GB ), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW 
    • CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Photo-CD, Multi-session, Karaoke-CD, Video-CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD Plus, CD-R, and CD-RW 

  • Write speeds: 
    • DVD-R: 4 X CLV 
    • DVD-RW: 2 X CLV 
    • DVD+R: 8X 
    • DVD+RW: 4 X 
    • CD-R: 40 X 
    • CD-RW: 24 X 

  • Write methods: 
    • CD: Support Fixed Packet, Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn 

  • Read speeds (max). 
    • DVD-ROM: 12 X 
    • CD-ROM/R: 40 X 

  • Access time (Random Average) 
    • DVD: 160 Msec 
    • CD: 140 Msec 

  • Interface: ATAPI (EIDE) support U-DMA mode 2/PIO-Mode 4
  • Buffer: 2 Mbytes 
  • Installation: horizontal and vertical. 
  • MTBF: 70,000 Hours
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 145 x 41.3 x 170 mm 
  • Weight: 0.9 kg.

The box contains the drive itself, an analog audio cable, screws, two software CDs (Power DVD XP player and DVD creation software from Sonic), and blank DVD+R 4x and DVD+RW 4x discs.




The drive's design is similar to the earlier released 411S. The drive is 170 cm long instead of standard 192 cm. The front panel houses a three-color LED, an emergency eject hole, a headphones jack, a volume control and an Open/Eject button. There is a digital audio-out on the back.

The drive features a standard suite of Lite-On's technologies. 

  • SMART-BURN® - buffer underrun error prevention and burn quality monitoring.
  • SMART-X® - speed control for media with different contents. For example, when DVD-Video is played the speed will be automatically reduced, when it's copied the speed will be set to maximum.
  • VAS (Vibration Absorber System)® 

Here's the drive's base.




The drive is based on MediaTek's chipset which was also used for the previous model LDW-411S. In the lower right-hand corner you can see the LDW 401S marking which means that the whole series of Lite-On's drives based on M1818/M1816 chipsets have the same electronic section.

And here you can see how it looks inside. 




The label on top provides information on the location and time of production.




The installation caused no problems. A user is offered a standard procedure, like that for an ordinary CD-ROM drive. The drive needs no special drivers. You can do just with the NeroBurning Rom; as for me, I used the latest version  - 6.3.0.2. 




Now let's use other utilities to get more information on the drive; for example, Nero Infotool tells what formats and disc types are supported by the drive:




As you can see from the screenshot, according to www.rpc1.com it's possible to turn the drive into RPC-1 using a special utility.

EAC (EAC Configuration Wizard) tells us about Audio CDs. 




Test results

DVD recording

The driver supports several formats, and we will test each one separately. As usual, we will carry out several tests with different discs from brandname and non-brandname companies.

The drive revealed no compatibility problems when burnt DVD-R media, it identifies and records the overwhelming majority of discs of this type.

Below is the typical burn time for DVD-R discs.

DVD-R burning
Drive burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min. burning at 4x, min.
Plextor PX-708A 59:48 29:40 14:57
Lite-On LDW-811S 59:54 29:52 15:04

Here is some more data on burning discs from different manufacturers, in Kprobe tests.

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 1x (Princo)



 
  Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 2x (Princo)



 
  Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 4x (Princo)



The control reading is not that impressive. The best quality is obtained with Princo's discs at 4X. A great deal of errors that appear by the end cause problems when the disc is reproduced on consumer DVD equipment.

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 2x (SKC)



 
  Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 4x (SKC)



Earlier Lite-On's drives were able to burn SKC's discs only at 1x. This drive excellently records such media at 4x and provides pretty good quality.

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 4x (SKY)



The drive doesn't favor SKY media. A high level of errors causes reading problems even with PC DVD devices.

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 2x (Verbatim)



 
  Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-R 4x (Verbatim)



Scanning of Verbatim's discs recorded leaves a pleasant impression.

DVD-RW recording didn't cause any problems. The drive confidently burnt discs from different manufacturers.

DVD-RW burning
Drive fast cleaning, min. burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min.
Plextor PX-708A 00:28 59:12 29:48
Lite-On LDW-811S 00:36 59:12 29:58


Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-RW 2x (TDK)




 
  Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD-RW 2x (Digitex)



In spite of a high level of errors in the control reading the PC DVD player as well as a ordinary consumer one played it without any problems.

Now we are going to burn DVD+R/RW discs. Today the disc makers still drag behind the drive makers, and one can hardly find 8X DVD+R media, that is why we tested high-quality 4x discs at 8x. The manufacturers promise to start mass deliveries of 8x media of both formats by the end of March.

Recording at 8x is carried out with Z-CLV technology, and the screenshot demonstrates that the drive changes its speed during recording.




So, a user can set the following burn speeds for recording high-quality DVD+R discs. 




To estimate how burning of 4x media at 8x affects record quality we used two pairs of Verbatim and Philips discs. One of them was recorded at 8x and the other at 4x and then we compared the results with KProbe. 
 

  burning at 4x, min.  burning at 8x, min.
Verbatim (original) 15:09 10:39
Philips (Ricoh) 15:12 9:58

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+R 4x (Philips)




Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+R 8x (Philips)



In case of Philips (Ricoh) discs burnt at 8x the level of errors is much higher compared to the burn speed of 4x. The screenshot of the disc burnt at 8x demonstrates a jump of the error level when the speed increases from 4x to 6x, but the transition to 8x didn't have such a considerable effect.

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+R 4x (Verbatim)



Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+R 8x (Verbatim)



The level of errors at 8x is higher, and if you look at the screenshot of reading of this disc you will easily notice the transition from 4x to 6x. However, the difference is not that great compared to Ricoh's discs.

In general, burning of different DVD+R discs didn't cause much problem; the drive confidently burns discs from famous and little-known companies.

DVD+R burning
Drive burning at 2.4x, min. burning at 4x, min. burning at 8x, min.
Plextor PX-708A 24:05 14:34 9:40
Lite-On LDW-811S 24:10 14:54 10:04

 
Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+R 2.4x (Philips)



Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+R 4x (SKY)



The level of errors of SKY discs is quite high, though the DVD+R cause fewer problems at reading compared to the DVD-R disc from the same company.

The drive had no compatibility problems with the DVD+RW discs. All of them were burnt pretty well at all possible speeds.

DVD+RW burning
Drive fast cleaning, min. burning at 2.4x, min. burning at 4x, min.
Plextor PX-708A 00:24 24:05 14:52
Lite-On LDW-811S 00:31 24:04 14:20

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+RW 2.4x (Philips)




 
  Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+RW 4x (Philips)



In spite of a high level of errors in the control reading these discs had no problems when read on the PC and home DVD devices.

Lite-On LDW-811S, DVD+RW 2.4x (Digitex)



Digitex's disc had problems by the end of the disc with image and sound quality.

DVD media reading

NERO DVD Speed

Test DVD reading

Lite-On LDW-811S 1-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Data)




  Lite-On LDW-811S Plextor PX-708A
Average speed  9.24x CAV 9.06x CAV
Random Seek 100 ms 98 ms
Full Seek 193 ms 168 ms
CPU usage (Max Speed) 2 % 4 %
SpinUp Time 2.16 sec 2.46 sec
SpinDown Time 2.05 sec 4.31 sec
Disc Recognition Time 10.09 sec 10.26 sec

Lite-On LDW-811S 2-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Video)




  Lite-On LDW-811S Plextor PX-708A
Average speed  6.31x CAV 6.25x CAV
Random Seek 105 ms 146 ms
Full Seek 188 ms 198 ms
CPU usage (Max Speed) 1 % 2 %
SpinUp Time 2.27 sec 1.71 sec
SpinDown Time 2.47 sec 3.05 sec
Disc Recognition Time 8.88 sec 14.12 sec
Layer Change Time 68 ms 75 ms

Reading of recordable DVD

DVD+R

Lite-On LDW-811S



DVD+RW

Lite-On LDW-811S



DVD-R

Lite-On LDW-811S



DVD-RW

Lite-On LDW-811S



The drive successfully reads all types of recordable discs, including multiborder DVDs. 

DVD Video copying with Smart Ripper

Drive Average speed
Lite-On LDW-811S 5.8 X
Plextor PX-708A 5.4 X


CD-R and CD-RW recording

CD burning time 

Traditionally, we used two types of media, with cyanine and phthalocyanine coating. The number of the trade marks were lifted up to 4, 2 of each type, to get more information of how the drive treats discs of different trade marks. Below is the ATIP for the discs tested. 

Mirex 48x
Disc Type = CDR (B-)
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Plasmon Data Systems Ltd.

Philips 52x
Disc Type = CDR (A+)
Nominal = 702.82MB (79m 59s 71f/LBA:359846)
Manufacturer = CMC Magnetics Corporation

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+) 
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

Verbatim Pastel
Disc Type = CDR (A+)
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 72f/LBA:359847)
Manufacturer = Taiyo Yuden Company Limited

The burning results will be partially represented in the graphical form.

Recording on Lite-On LDW-811S ( Mirex 48x, phthalocyanine)



The screenshot above looks the same for all trade marks of the discs. The burn speed was the same for all trade marks and types of media. We also tested ability of the drive to record cyanine discs at the minimal speed, - the mode usually used by audiophiles to get the highest quality sound. 




The minimal CD-R burn speed available was 8x. Note that the choice of burn speeds is not that rich.
 

CD-R disc Lite-On LDW-811S Plextor PX-708A
Philips 52x 3:06 3:23
Verbatim 48x 3:04 3:28
Mirex 48x 3:05 3:30
Pastel 8x 10:29 21:09

To extend the picture, I added the results of TDK CD-RW 12x and Verbatim 24x.

TDK 12x
Disc Type = HIGH SPEED CD-RW
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = RiTEK Corporation
Verbatim
Disc Type = ULTRA SPEED CD-RW 24X
Nominal = 656.40MB (74m 43s 00f/LBA:336075)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

Recording on Lite-On LDW-811S (TDK 12x CD-RW)



 
  Recording on Lite-On LDW-811S(Verbatim 24x CD-RW)



Reading of the recorded discs on the Lite-On drive with KProbe

Reading of Philips CD-R recorded on Lite-On LDW-811S



Reading of Verbatim CD-R recorded on Lite-On LDW-811S



Reading of Mirex CD-R recorded on Lite-On LDW-811S



Reading of Verbatim Pastel CD-R recorded on Lite-On LDW-811S



Reading of TDK 12x CD-RW recorded on Lite-On LDW-811S



Reading of Verbatim 24x CD-RW recorded on Lite-On LDW-811S



Time of CD-RW full formatting in UDF with InCD 4.1.0

CD-RW recording in UDF format, 530 Mb test packet in 3000 files. 

TDK 12x   

Drive Burn time (min.) Formatting time (min.)
Plextor PX-708A 9:20 10:08
Lite-On LDW-811S 8:35 13:42

Verbatim 24x  

Drive Burn time (min.) Formatting time (min.)
Plextor PX-708A 8:02 6:40
Lite-On LDW-811S 7:45 6:12

Operation with 80mm CDs (tested with a CD-RW disc), formatting and recording in UDF

Formatting and recording of the 80mm CD-RW disc in UDF, 4x burn speed. 
   

Drive Formatting time (min.) Burn time (min.)
Plextor PX-708A 8:45 5:47
Lite-On LDW-811S 9:35 10:25

The drive burns the 80mm discs successfully but slowly.

Overburn

The discs used have the following ATIP. 

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+) 
Lead In = 97:34:23
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

Intenso 99 min
Disc Type = CDR (A-)
Lead In = 96:43:37
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = RiTEK Corporation
 

Drive 80 min CD-R 99 min CD-R
Plextor PX-708A 81:45.54 91:04.38
Lite-On LDW-811S 81:40.14 95:30.26

CD reading parameters

CDWinBench 99

  Plextor PX-708A Lite-On LDW-811S
Winmark 2270 2140
Inside transfer 2930 Kb/s 2850 Kb/s
Outside transfer 5770 Kb/s 5500 Kb/s
CPU Utilization  2.01 % 1.64 %
Access Time 85.8 ms 99.8 ms

NERO CD Speed

Test CD reading

Lite-On LDW-811S




  Lite-On LDW-811S Plextor PX-708A
Average speed  30.86 CAV 32.07 CAV
Random Seek 101 ms 97 ms
Full Seek 195 ms 173 ms
CPU Usage 8X  9 %  5 % 
SpinUp Time 1.99 3.02
SpinDown Time 2.93 4.11
Disc Recognition Time 8.47 sec 0.01 sec
Accurate stream Yes Yes



CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

CD-R reading

Lite-On LDW-811S



CD-RW reading

Lite-On LDW-811S



Low-quality CD reading
Lite-On LDW-811S



CD audio track extraction (CDDAE 99, EAC)

Lite-On LDW-811S
  CDDAE  EAC 
Average extraction speed 25.3x  7.6x 
Total errors  0.00% 0.00%

Advanced DAE Quality(Nero CD-Speed)

Plextor PX-708A



The detailed information on the tested parameters is given in the help file to the Nero CD Speed test program. If you don't want to download the utility, here you can find the HTMl help file. 

DAE Quality (EAC)

This test was made by the developer of EAC, and it's called DAE Quality (see its description here). In short, it measures quality of audio data extraction and quality of C2 error processing with a special test disc. In this case it's impossible to measure C2 processing quality, you just look at the general data on quality of audiotrack extraction. 

Lite-On LDW-811S



Lite-On LDW-811S

  • Errors total Num : 25225996
  • Errors (Loudness) Num : 134438 - Avg : -27.0 dB(A) - Max : -6.5 dB(A)
  • Error Muting Num : 50504 - Avg : 52.0 Samples - Max : 3584 Samples
  • Skips Num : 268 - Avg : 108.7 Samples - Max : 2334 Samples
  • Total Test Result : 49.6 points (of 100.0 maximum)
  • C2 Accuracy : 56.6 %

Direct copying of information from 832 MB (92 min) CD-R to HDD

The drive successfully copied the contents of the 832MB drive without any errors. 

Lite-On LDW-811S





Copy time

  • Lite-On LDW-811S- 7 min. 54 sec.
  • Plextor PX-708A - 5 min. 50 sec.

Drive's physical characteristics 

Noise

CD-RW drive Tray CD-Seek CD total DVD-Seek DVD total
Lite-On LDW-811S 7/10 7/10 6/10 7/10 6/10

The drive is pretty noisy especially when it handles CDs at high speeds. Fortunately, you can change the speed with utilities like CD Bremsie or Nero Drive Speed where you can choose the following values: 4-10-12-24-32-40.

Thermal conditions

CD-RW drive T inside PC case, C T of the upper surface, C T of the lower surface, C
Lite-On LDW-811S 36 48 48

The drive doesn't get hot even if used a lot. But be careful when placing other devices close to it as they can burn.

Vibration in case of unbalanced CDs

The drive vibrated when it handled such disc but it managed to finish its reading without errors. 

Summary

The new drive from Lite-On is very similar to its predecessors but it got rid of almost all shortcomings of 401 and 411 models. The speeds and burn quality of almost all media types must be satisfactory for most users. The modern requirements keep on growing up, the current DVD-R burn standard is 8x, but if you do not chase the latest thing in fashion and you need an inexpensive modern drive Lite-On LDW-811S can be a good choice. 
  


Roman Shelepov (srl@ixbt.com)

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